Innovations and opportunities discussed at Ask the Buyer procurement event

Ask the Buyer Panel

More than 50 businesses and SMEs had the chance to put their burning procurement questions to a panel of experts from across the NHS and public sector at the 2019 Ask the Buyer event.

On 23 January, delegates gathered at Alderley Park Conference Centre, in Alderley Edge, for a morning of discussions and a Q&A session focused on how businesses can help their innovations get through the procurement process.

The event was opened by Daniel Zamora, Commercial Programme Manager at Health Innovation Manchester, and The Worshipful Mayor of the Borough of Cheshire East, Councillor Lesley Smetham. 

Ben Bridgewater, Health Innovation Manchester’s Chief Executive, spoke to delegates about how HInM is driving industry-led innovation in the health and care sector in Greater Manchester and beyond. This included a discussion of how HInM aims to be innovative, collaborative and agile in the approach to industry innovation and how Manchester is well-placed to become a world-leading life sciences cluster.

Chris Doherty, Managing Director of Alderley Park, then provided the audience with information about the opportunities and support available at the bio and life sciences campus in his talk “Alderley Park: Dedicated to helping shape the future of the world’s health.”

Colin Cram, who worked in the public sector for more than 40 years and set up several centralised procurement and contracting organisations, offered his expertise including 10 recommendations to help innovations and SMEs gain access to the system.

Ask the Buyer Panel

Nick Allen, HInM’s Industry Procurement Adviser, explained how SMEs can structure a value proposition by identifying the cost of the problem, the cost of an innovative solution and how it aligns with local needs.

Nick then chaired a discussion featuring a panel of experts including:

  • Peter Schofield – AGMA Procurement Programme Manager
  • Steve Begley – Head of Procurement at Alder Hey Children’s Hospital Liverpool
  • Marie Clayton – Deputy Director of Primary Care/Head of QIPP – Bury CCG
  • Sue Mason – Senior Clinical Procurement Adviser at NHS Shared Business Services​
  • Amy Cartwright – Patient Safety and Innovation Specialist, NHS Supply Chain
  • Colin Cram, Chief Executive for Marc1 Ltd and Chairman Open Forum Events

The panel offered advice about engaging with procurement early in the innovation process, having a conversation with the market and addressing the value proposition of an idea or innovation.

The experts also gave their 3 biggest procurement mistakes made by businesses

  1. Bypassing procurement at an early stage resulting in no guarantee that due process is being followed
  2. Not having clinical evidence to back up the innovation
  3. Not having a robust business case

Daniel Zamora, HInM’s Commercial Programme Manager, said: “The event was very well attended and our audience posed some interesting and challenging questions to our panel resulting in interesting debates.

“Thank you to our speakers and panel members for attending and offering their insights to our audience.

“We hope delegates found the event interested and have left with a wider understanding of the procurement process in the NHS and public sector.”

Read the Twitter Thread for #AsktheBuyer by clicking the image below

Twitter Ask the Buyer

HInM Twitter Thread

Ask the Buyer 2019